A plan for new children's hospital


Sir, – Prof Richard Firth (November 6th) makes an interesting argument that the new children’s hospital should be located at the Mater in order to alleviate the “deprivation, decay, squalor, substance abuse and disease” apparent in the north inner city. As a local resident, I sadly cannot dispute Firth’s description.

However, one might ask has the professor ever walked the journey to St James’s, the environs of which endure similar difficulties? Both areas are already home to multiple hospitals in receipt of significant investment and enhancement in recent years, but the locality-enhancing value of these institutions is notable by its absence. Perhaps we could look for more encouraging examples of social uplift around other hospitals – Crumlin, Tallaght or Blanchardstown maybe? In fact all five areas continue to be disproportionately represented in media reports of crime and social deprivation.

I’ll leave it to others to list the obvious reasons why an uplift does not occur in these hospital neighbourhoods. The choice of St James’s for the new hospital might well turn out to be a lucky escape for the north side. – Yours, etc,


Shamrock Street,

Phibsboro, Dublin 7.